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How to start a business for £99

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones' new book shows you how to come up with an idea, build a web presence, start selling and get going in business for less than £99, including the cost of the book!

By Emma Jones, the Founder of Enterprise Nation in For Small Businesses.

home business worker

The StartUp rate in the UK remains at a record high with over half a million new businesses being created each year*. One of the factors contributing to this is that the costs of starting are at an all time low.  Here are 5 ways to start a business without breaking the bank.

1. Keep it niche

The more niche your business the lower your costs. This is because you have a clear view on the product or service you’re offering, to what type of customer. Rather than having to splash out on advertising everywhere, you know where to find your customers, what they’re reading, which blogs they’re visiting, from whom they’re currently buying, etc. So, you only need be in the places they’re hanging out.

2. Beg, Borrow and Barter

These are three valuable words that will serve you well throughout your business journey. If there’s an asset or piece of kit you need and just can’t afford, think about who owns such an asset and ask to use it, for free and on their downtime. Need space? Approach someone who owns it and wants to attract the type of crowd you can attract. Need equipment such as a kitchen or 3D printers to perfect or make the product? You can ask to borrow such equipment when it's not in use as the many owners will feel good about helping a StartUp. You’ll be amazed as to how much you can access – you just have to ask!

3. Embrace social media

Technology has been a great friend to small business in that you can get online for free with template websites such as Moonfruit, Wix and Weebly. Then a presence on social media platforms is a great way of attracting traffic to that site. In the book, I profile companies that are building profitable businesses on Instagram and YouTube. These businesses are making sales and keeping costs to a minimum.

4. Get out and about

It’s in meeting people that you’ll find friends, entrepreneurs and supporters who are willing to give you time and advice, for free. But you have to get out of the home office to meet them. Find this support at free meet-ups and events that you can find on sites such as Eventbrite and

5. Keep in touch

Keep up to date with the current small business news to stay in touch with all the offers available to startups. Did you know that 3Space and the government’s Space for Growth offer workspace for free? Also, companies like Unilever make their senior marketing people available as free mentors.

So it’s worthwhile to make it your business to know about these types of opportunities by following key small business websites (including Enterprise Nation!) on twitter and subscribing to free newsletters.

With free technology, supportive networks and large companies offering up resources to help, there’s no reason why you can’t start a business on a budget and become your own boss for less than £100!

Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of best-selling books including ‘Spare Room StartUp’, ‘Working 5 to 9’, ‘Go Global’ and, her latest book, ‘Start a Business for £99’

Buy the book for just £8.44 here

*According to figures from Companies House

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Emma Jones

Emma Jones
Last Updated: 06 Aug 2015